Range's acclaimed pastry chef, Michelle Polzine, is converting a Hayes Valley laundromat across the street from Rich Table restaurant into a new Eastern European-influenced hideaway called the 20th Century Cafe. It's coming soon, but Polzine isn't ready to divulge how soon.
"I don't want to say [an opening date] because I have jinxed it before by doing that," Polzine admits. "Let's just say 'spring!'"
For the remaining Sundays in February, Polzine is offering edible sneak peeks of her 20th Century Cafe menu via bake sales from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at State Bird Provisions (1529 Fillmore). The restaurant is typically closed during the day and it's almost odd to see it in the serene daylight, minus the long lines and anxious crowds.
Polzine offers a few savory bites at these bake sales, too, such as creamy and flaky potato and cabbage knishes, and quick comforts like poppy seed rugelach and chocolate cookies (it seems a shame to call them chocolate chip cookies when they're packed with big flakes of chocolate), as well as a rotating array of more elaborate sweets. On our visit, these included a spicy ginger cake with Meyer lemon cream, an apple huckleberry tart, and a hazelnut, Seville orange, and chocolate torte.
Polzine also sells take-home items; we snagged a jar of apple butter that has since disappeared atop crumpets, cheese and crackers, and just a spoon (it's that good). At $10, it is the highest-ticket item at this bakesale, which has prices beginning at $2.
Is it spring yet?